Introducing the Garritan Abbey Road Studios CFX Lite

Introducing the Garritan Abbey Road Studios CFX Lite

The CFX Concert Grand

In 2014 we released the most detailed and advanced Garritan project ever: the CFX Concert Grand. It began with Yamaha’s remarkable nine foot concert piano, the development of which took more than 18 years. We placed this no-holds-barred instrument in the most legendary recording space in the world: Studio One at Abbey Road Studios. Once there, world-class engineers used the most regarded mics and outboard gear to capture the magic.

The resulting CFX Concert Grand set new standards for virtual pianos.

The CFX Lite

Today we’re carrying on the Garritan tradition of democratizing music making by releasing the CFX Lite, a downloadable subset of the full CFX that is more affordable, portable, and is compatible with more modest computer systems.

“When we set out to make a more accessible version of the CFX Concert Grand, we didn’t want it to be ‘watered-down’ in any way,” said Fred Flowerday, MakeMusic senior vice president of product strategy. “Instead of making any compromise in sonic quality, we provided a single, classic microphone perspective in all of its richness and depth.”

Where the full CFX offers close and ambient mic placement for three perspectives (Classic, Contemporary, and Player), CFX Lite offers simply the close-mic’d Classic perspective, provided in all of its full-bandwidth, remarkable grandeur. The CFX Lite includes all 20 layers of detail from the original. This includes separate sample sets for pedals-up, sustain pedal down and soft pedaling.


Not sure what we mean by the three perspectives? These are a combination of mics and mic placement designed to create a specific result.

  • Classic – most faithfully captures the natural tonal character, clarity and nuance of the CFX
  • Contemporary – bright and hard with lots of attack from the hammers, while maintaining warmth with intimate ambience
  • Player – offers the experience of playing the CFX in Studio One, particularly when used with headphones

Also, each perspective also offers close and ambient mics. For the CFX Lite, we used the close mics of the Classic perspective.

“I really love the Lite version of the Abbey Road CFX,” said Mirek Stiles, head of audio products at Abbey Road Studios. “It’s great having the Abbey Road engineers’ favourite mic array from the original CFX release, with the same beautiful tones of the CFX in the most famous recording studio in the world, but in a more accessible, downloadable package.”

The CFX Lite also adds new features not found in the original CFX Concert Grand. These include partial and re-pedaling functionality and 20 additional impulses captured from Abbey Road Studios’ legendary outboard reverb equipment. Also newly added is a Timbre effect that simulates the change in tone that occurs when instruments are recorded at one tape speed and played back at another. Today these enhancements are also available to owners of the full CFX too, via this free-of-charge download for Mac and Windows.

But enough talk. To really get a sense of what the CFX Lite offers, you have to hear it. 

Hear the CFX Lite in action

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Best of all, you can own the CFX Lite today for only $79.95!

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